Commissioning new music is its own reward – you get to perform new, original music written just for your ensemble.
However, there’s a big bonus to commissioning when the piece goes on to have a life of its own.
Recently, the brilliant piece May, written by Michael McGlynn for my choir, The Rockford Aces, has started to live its post-commission life.
This week, Michael’s outstanding professional ensemble, Anúna, has released their recording and music video.
In addition, the Grammy-Award winning Kansas City Chorale (with one of my favorite conductors, Charles Bruffy) this week performed May as part of a concert of McGlynn’s music – with recording to follow, it sounds like.
Writing new music and hearing it performed is obviously exciting; but I am always surprised by the pride I feel in pieces I didn’t write, but did commission, receiving performances beyond my group. I feel a sense of ownership that extends to these pieces, and their life after premiere is perhaps the biggest influence that I, as a conductor, can have on my profession.
You should feel that feeling too! Commission new music! On your own, or as part of a consortium, you should be a part of bringing new music to the world.